Toward a nursing practice research method

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Abstract

This article promotes a structure for nursing research in which the primary feature is the nurse researcher-asclinician in a collaborative relationship with the client-as-subject. Elements of a theoretical rationale for blending the roles of clinician and researcher in an essentially qualitative methodology are developed. A nursing practice research method is conceptualized not as merely a technical activity with a focus on narrative data, but also as an explicit recognition of research as practice with an emphasis on intersubjectivity and dialogue in the research process as constitutive of reality. Research and knowledge development are thus envisioned as taking place from within the nursing situation and contingent on the quality of the nurse-client relationship. The nurse and client are recognized as the authors of the nursing-research situation in which meanings of health experiences are explored and chosen, and opportunities for enhanced quality of life are presented to both. Nurse and client each lend a unique perspective in the shared nursing-research situation. Regardless of the facticities of the client's medical status, both nurse and client have the potential for positive growth and change when these unique perspectives of nurse and client are joined. The proposed nursing practice research methodology capitalizes on these features of the practice situation, and thus, speaks directly to the concerns of the clinician.

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